Orange County's culturally diverse, but all cultures living here have at least one thing in common: snacks, junk food, stuff you can't really call cuisine or dinner.
So, in what I hope to be a long-running and fun series, we'll pick out one "Wacky Snack" from a local market per week; then do a marginally stupid, but always frivolous mini-review.
Please to enjoy, the inaugural post of "Wacky Snacks":
Name: Kuai Kuai Corn Snack
Found at: 99 Ranch Market, Irvine
Ingredients: Non-GMO Corn, Refined Oil (Lard), Peanut Butter, Dried Shrimp (Dried Acetes Shrimp), Soy Sauce, Sugar Seasoning (Ribotide, Monosodium Glutamate), Salt, Black Pepper, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A, D3, B1, B2, Antioxidant (Vitamin E)
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Why I Bought It: The impossibly happy cartoon character. Is he a pirate? A wizard? What is that hat?! Whatever it is, he's oozing confidence, pulling off a bow-tie better than Tucker Carlson or that creepy CGI Orville Redenbacher.
Tasting Notes: A cartoon drawing of rust-colored powder next to what looks like salt shakers seems to suggest cayenne pepper, but the true flavor is "Salty". No, really. That's what it says on the back. It says, "Flavor: Salty".
And it does taste salty, and a vaguely shrimp-y, too, with a texture of foam packing peanuts and the shape of a tater tot. The aroma reminds me of the stuff I feed my goldfish.
But look! It's uses Non-GMO corn. And egads! It's fortified with vitamins and antioxidants! Who says you can't have your junk food and eat it too?